Sunday, 21 December 2008

Googling Oneself

Does one, should one, Google oneself? The general public opinion is that it is a sad thing to do, the equivalent of masturbation. Masturbation is something everyone feigns horror at doing yet statistics, however gathered, suggest that it is not an uncommon practice. The general public opinion is pretty well always a hypocrite and an ass.

Well, I am coming out of the cupboard on this one (in the socially most acceptable way, I should add). On the Googling part at any rate. I do occasionally Google myself. I have not yet gone blind or developed a dangerous venereal disease from doing so, though my points score in the mirrored halls of hell where the vain are condemned to spend eternity, must be adding up. I hope my good deeds balance out the evil. It is, I should add, a sin I commit particularly at book publication time, but since I seem to publish a lot of books, I expect I am in a bad way. Clearly not a serious person, un homme sérioux. On N'est Pas Serioux Quand On a Soixante Ans.

A friend remarked of another friend, a certain FT, that he must be exceedingly vain as he is always checking his appearance in mirrors and shop windows. I am not convinced. I suggest the compulsive checker of his or her own reflection is suffering from two kinds of insecurity, the first - naturally - regarding appearance (is it as bad as he or she fears?), the second regarding being there at all. There is a long precedent for this in my maternal Transylvania so it is a miracle I abstain as much as I do.

Self-Googling this morning I came across this. Another miracle! I have been turned into wine.

Now to more serious matters. (Clears throat).


Mark Granier said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mark Granier said...

Well, I've only had two books published but I'll admit to self-googling. Why not? It puts my idle curiosity to sleep and is the only way I have of finding out whether anyone has published one of my poems online without bothering to inform me (happened a few times, most recently in Daily Verse) or has written anything about my work (again, just a few times). It was by this means that I discovered I had had one of my short poems translated into Russian (sadly, a bad effort, according to a Russian acquaintance). Sure, google-onanism is largely a waste of time but (a) it is a small measure and (b) unlike the alternative, it isn't likely to leave a dent your libido.

Poet in Residence said...

I'm a race horse. Or rather there's a galloper named Gwilym Williams. I think he runs at Santa Barbara.
Another Gwilym Williams was sacked from a hotel in Caernarvon for speaking Welsh.
He's not me either.

Alison Croggon said...

I'm even worse: I discovered the Google alert service, which means I don't even have to search. Instead, little bulletins shoot into my inbox whenever I turn up on the net. Saves time and private shame.

George S said...


I am a dreadful correspondent but I cannot tell you how much pleasure it is to see you here.

I will write a proper email next!


bob said...

I google myself all the time: it's a terrible habit, and the hangover is nasty, but it's fun.

Yes, a wine for all occassions: that's about right.

Dave King said...

Thanks for the link - I did wonder where the spike came from! Have a good Christmas - but not too serious! Incidentally, I used to run a website. I Googled myself all the time then. Since I've been blogging I haven't done it once. I wonder what that sys about me...